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Evaluation of Maternal and Child Home Visitation Programs: Lessons from Pennsylvania

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This Evidence to Action brief draws on lessons learned through PolicyLab's evaluation of the Pennsylvania Nurse-Family Partnership, and presents key concepts and recommendations for public health program evaluation.

As many maternal and child home visitation programs scale up under the Affordable Care Act, and as many policymakers are calling for greater connection between government funding decisions and public health program outcomes, the importance of evaluation to demonstrate program effectiveness has grown. Yet evaluating the effectiveness of these programs can be challenging. The complexity of program models, coupled with considerations of real-world program implementation, requires thoughtful and flexible evaluation strategies. Despite challenges, a well-planned evaluation and follow-up can significantly contribute to the impact of programs that serve an increasing number of families and communities.

This Evidence to Action brief, part of PolicyLab’s ongoing work in maternal and child home visitation program evaluation, highlights four key program evaluation concepts to help guide home visitation program administrators plan real-world evaluations.

Meredith Matone, Cara Curtis, Arina Chesnokova, Katherine Yun, Amanda Kreider, Meredith Curtis, David Rubin